A certified surgical technologist is suing West Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health, alleging discrimination based on race and color, according to court documents shared with Becker’s.
The lawsuit, filed March 3 in Iowa District Court, states that Celestina Lamai worked as a surgical technologist at UnityPoint Health’s Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, beginning Dec. 6, 2021.
On April 1, 2022, Ms. Lamai was asked to assist with a surgery and, as she was preparing for the procedure, she was directed to leave the surgical room and was assigned to different duties, according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Lamai alleges this occurred because of her race and/or her color and that she was replaced in the surgery with a white person. The lawsuit states that Ms. Lamai involuntarily resigned her position on April 12, 2022.
UnityPoint Health shared the following statement with Becker’s: “While we cannot discuss specific details of this case due to pending litigation, our organization emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion both in healthcare and in the workplace. We remain focused on delivering the best possible care to the patients and communities we serve.”
The lawsuit seeks damages, including damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, compensatory relief, punitive damages, reasonable attorney fees and court costs.